Recently, 31-year-old Frederick Lewis of Scottville accepted a plea deal from prosecutors in connection with the alleged sexual abuse of a girl younger than 13. Lewis was initially charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for engaging in sexual activity from 2001 to 2004, beginning when the alleged victim was 7 years old, and continuing until she was 11.
According to The Mason County Press, Lewis originally rejected a plea agreement offered by Paul Spaniola, Mason County Prosecutor. The defendant then changed his mind, and appeared in the 51st Circuit Court on October 23 to accept the plea deal. Had he gone to trial, Lewis would have faced up to life in prison if convicted.
Following an investigation performed by the Michigan State Police, Lewis was arrested in February of this year. The alleged victim, who is now 18, was living at a residence in Custer Township when the sexual abuse occurred. News reports indicate that she is a relative of the accused.
Because Lewis accepted the plea deal, he is now charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, which means the penalties he will face when sentenced will likely be less severe. He is scheduled for sentencing on December 3.
The penalties for a conviction of second-degree CSC include up to 15 years in prison and lifetime electronic monitoring. Many convicted offenders are required to register as a sex offender with the Michigan PSOR (public sex offender registry). Being labeled a sex offender has many negative consequences. Not only may the accused individual be denied employment opportunities, where he/she may live is also restricted. Additionally, information about registered sex offenders is readily available online for anyone to view. Many sex offenders are looked down upon in society, often unwelcome in the communities where they live.
If you have been accused of sexual assault, child molestation, an internet sex crime or any related offense, do not hesitate before contacting an aggressive Michigan sex crime defense lawyer. There are many effective defense strategies which may be useful in your situation, helping to avoid a conviction and the resulting penalties.